NMA: Influence of Newspapers Extends Far Beyond Print

The News Media Association has highlighted newspapers’ powerful influence and reach as originators of news content following the publication of an Ofcom report looking at news consumption in the UK.

The report points to a decline in consumption of news from traditional news providers including printed newspapers but points out that 64 per cent of online news users rely on traditional news media as the source for their news while only 28 per cent go to ‘digital first’ news sources.

Responding to the report, Lynne Anderson, NMA deputy chief executive, said: “News is consumed across a wide variety of platforms and we know that 90 per cent of adults consume newspapers across print and digital. For most people, the device or platform they choose to access the news is far less important than the quality of the information and whether they can trust the source. As the Ofcom survey acknowledges, it can be extremely difficult to track where the story has originated.

“Newspaper publishers account for two-thirds of the total spent on news provision in the UK, followed by the BBC and commercial broadcasters. They are the investors in trusted professional journalism who dig out the news which stimulates and fuels debate across online and social media platforms.

“National, regional and local newspaper journalism sets the agenda in a way that no other media can, from the Sunday Times FIFA expose to the Guardian’s coverage of Ed Snowden’s revelations about mass data surveillance and the Carlisle News and Star’s reporting of the floods. Such stories are shared widely on social media, fuelling comment and debate on important issues which people want and need to know about.”

According to comScore, 24 million people read newspaper content on their mobile phones. Of Twitter’s 15 million users in the UK, 59 per cent follow newspaper brands and 62 per cent believe news on Twitter should be verified by a respected newsbrand.

UK newsbrands drove 770 million social media interactions between January and October 2015, according to data from Newswhip, which has also published  rankings  showing that MailOnline and Mirror have greater Facebook engagement than the BBC.

According to Newswhip’s list of top publishers on Facebook for July, the Daily Mail was the sixth biggest publisher with more than 25.3 million interactions Facebook and the Mirror was the ninth with 22.7 million. Both websites are listed higher than the BBC which came tenth in the list with 22.1 million interactions.